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Virtual Ch. 110 (CSPAN3)






Afghanistan 30, Nato 23, United States 20, Chicago 9, Europe 8, Elan 5, Syria 5, U.s. 4, Merkel 4, United 3, Pakistan 3, Obama 3, Sarkozy 2, Annan 2, Eu 2, United Nations 2, Lisbon 2, Iran 2, Us 2, Mrs. Merkel 1,
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  CSPAN    [untitled]  

    May 17, 2012
    2:30 - 3:00pm EDT  

security. the afghan economicless have its own session. this is obviously important as we put together the non-security aspects of the follow-up in afghanistan post-2014. that is, how is afghanistan going to come out of its war economy into a stable, economic situation? and what are the needs. will have from the international community? leading up to a donors conference in tokyo in july. and the last scheduled session at camp david would be on middle east and north african transition following up on the doville initiative and discussions at the last g-8 meeting. that's the essentially the outline. nato. the president will leave saturday evening and go to chicago to host 62 nations and several international organizations for the nato summit. this is only a third time since nato's founding in 1949 that the united states will host a nato summit.
it's onlial first time hosted in a city other than washington. the other two times the united states has hosted nato summits were in 1978 and 1999 which, of course, was the 50th anniversary during president clinton's term. as i've said, 61 countries as well as the eu, the united nations and the world bank will be in attendance. they'll be a different grouping, if you will, of countries during the course of the day. as i said, the president will fly to chicago on saturday evening. the first meeting that he'll have on sunday will be with president karzai of afghanistan. obviously, an important meeting because a central focus of the summit will be on afghanistan and afghanistan's future. so the first meeting of the day appropriately is going to be with president karzai of afghanistan. the president will then move into various, a series of nato immediatings. initial meeting with just the nato allies at 28.
that evening, on sunday evening, the nato allies will meet at soldier field for a working dinner and that will be leaders plus one adviser. on monday morning, the summit will continue at mccormick place with discussions on afghanistan and this will be a broader meeting. this will be the nato countries plus the 22 non-nato afghan troop, or non-nato troop contributing countries in afghanistan. and the second formal meeting on monday will be a -- ap session with key partners we had in various projects around the world with nato. i want to talk about nato alliances for a second and then talk about afghanistan and then i'll take your questions. the united states and nato -- nato is a cornerstone alliance for the united states in terms of its ability to advance its international interests. when we came into office almost four yearation, now 3.5 years
ago, we asked ourselves where we were, where we needed investment, where we needed work that needed to be done and our analysis was in fact alliances needed a tremendous amount of attention by the president. that the alliances were frayed. it had been an exhausting period leading up to 2009 and the president set about reinvigorating. one of the first set of instructions we got at the beginning of the administration, set about building out and refurbishing, revitalizing our alliances. why is that? there's a lot of talk among foreign policy commentators on the issue of decline in u.s. assets and liabilities. and i don't often see this, but you really should see it. when you put together a list of unique american assets, unique american assets going into the future, things that are going to provide for the future of the united states. you talk about an innovative economy, the size of the economy. its energy future. it's demographic future, all
unique american assets and really do promise a bright future for the united states. you should also put in that list alliances. no other nation in the world has the set of global alliances that the united states does. no other nation in the world, and this is built on bipartisan works since world war ii, has a series of countries that it can go to around the world and work with these countries. alliances, i will tell you, from experience, are wholly different qualitative set than coalition to the willing. alliances are valued highly by each of the members. you have habits of cooperation. you have shared threat assessments. you have operational capabilities that you practice and work on and can call on in a moment's notice. the libya operation was good example off that on nato. from the outset of this administration, it's been a strategic priority of the united states. a strategic priority to the reinsignificanterate, under gird or security through revitalizing and reinvigorating our alliances and this effort at nato is part
of that. now i'll talk about afghanistan for a minute and then take your questions. a focus at the nato summit will be afghanistan. you all remember at the nato summit in lisbon in 2010, the united states, our allies and partners really set forth the core strategy in the way forward in afghanistan. and than is that we would begin transitioning in 2011. the lead for afghanistan having full responsibility for security across the country would end at the end of 20 -- would be at the end of 2014, and the isaf bhoigs end that point, under the rubric of in together, out together. i think the lisbon summit was really an ecertainly moment to our effort here. afghanistan, of course had been quite a hot issue between the united states and europe and partners around the world. there had been a lot of disputes. questions about whether or not the group of countries in afghanistan could see this project through. and i think with the president's
leadership and hard work of our allies and partners we put in place a multiyear effort to responsibly address the goals that we had. defeating al qaeda and ensuring that afghanistan would not be in the future a safe haven or al qaeda or associated groups that would describing the united stat states -- strike the united states. here on a path to do that. what this summit is about is the next step on that -- the next step, if you will, on that transition project. that transition until the end of 2014 and then beyond. there are three elements i'll mention and then take your questions. the first is, with respect to the next steps in transition. the next steps towards 2014 is that the alliance lp decide will decide in 2013 the mission will shift for its forces. that is, that the mission will shift from. isaf forces, the united states forces at part of isaf being in the combat lead to stepping back
and getting into prince lly principleably a train mode. that essential if you think about how you get to the end of 2014 with full afghan responsibility for their security. you need to start that process. you need to get the afghans out front with the united states and its allies and partners supporting them moving forward. that's the first element of what will be talks about and decided at chicago. the second will be a discussion of, an agreement on, the structure and sustainability of the afghan national forces as you go past 2014. that is, what should their size be? what should the mission be? and how will be it paid for? sustainment is a euphemism after 201478. we've made good progress. current aat abouts 330,000 afghan forces surging up to
352,000 afghan forces. we will at some point ar 2014 go down a sustain level of afghan forces the level required as assessed by our military in conjunction with the afghans going forward. sustainment. the cost of this will be around, in our judgment, around $4 billion a year. and what the united states has been doing, again, working with isaf partner, and we've worked with about 30 countries now to work through commitments, and this is 2.5 years from now. work through multiyear commitments to pay for that force and we've made enormous progress on this. this is not a pledging conference. the not the end of that project, bumt i can tell you at this point that, again, we've had over 30 countries make commitments. some announced. you've seen leadership announcements coming from the united states kingdom with $110 million a year. australia, $100 million. germany, $109 million a year. leading countries. there are many others. some of them will make
announcement during the course of the summit, but this won't be the end of the work, but we have made really substantial progress towards burden sharing. towards continuing support for afghan security but with the united states not having to bear the whole load. the third thing will be discussed at chicago will be the nature of the presence in afghanistan amp 2014. after the isaf combat mission ends, what, what of the plans for nato? and they'll be a discussion about essentially focusing on a much smaller sized nato training, assisting and advising mission in afghanistan. so, chicago's a critical milestone in the next step towards a responsible ending of this war. towards our achieving very importantly our goals in this effort in afghanistan, and, really, kinds of the execution of the strategy that the president laid out in his speech at bagram. with that, jay -- i'm glad to go on for another three or four hours or i can take your
questions. >> why don't we start with ben and we'll have tom answer a few questions and then let him get back to work. >> good afternoon, ben. >> thanks. a nato question. g-8 question. on nato, president obama planning to meet with the president nardari or karzai and tell us about the state of that supply group? >> yeah. the question was on the taepdens at the nato summit. he was inviteed by nato to attend the summit. president nardar was invited and will do so with the secretary and foreign minister and participate on the meetings on sunday. first point. the second is, we have made real progress resolving the issue opening you up the ground supply lines closed since november across border incident, 24 pakistanis soldiers killed. the key government groups in
islamabad have instructed their negotiators to move to conclude these negotiations. we have our negotiations, negotiators out there as well and are making progress towards that. whether that will be done in the next few days or not, i can't jump at this point, but there's been a decision on both sides to reach a conclusion of this. of this going forward. and that's important, obviously, for us. at this point, as i said, there are 61 countries going to be present there and the president is not going to bilaterals -- not a plan to vap separate bilateral meeting with the president, but the president will see him during the course of the sessions that we have in chicago. >> the g-8 question you mentioned syria one of the topics friday night. give us a sense of given the players that are involved what expectations you have, if any, for step on what happens if the annan plan doesn't work? there will be expectations for progress? >> yeah. i think this. i think all the countries
present, at the g-8 summit, have real concerns and need to have real concerns about the violence level in syria. i think that death toll right now is approaching maybe 8,000. and the assad regime has you know, undertaken a brutal response to the, against its own people, trying to express their views. i think that there's a -- they'll be, a general disapproval of that, obviously. number one. number two is that each of the members present at the g-8 meeting all support the annan plan. kofi annan, former general of the united nations, the lead person trying to advance a cease nyr the political transition effort in syria. number three, i think that they'll about focus at the g-8 discussion on the need, yes, to bring down the violence.
yes, to see the monitors who e are, about 240, i think in syria at this point, see the monitors have access and top try to bring down the violence through their efforts. but also to begin a political discussion about a transition in syria. i think that will be the basic outline of the discussion. yeah? >> hi. >> hi. two questions. one, nato would be very much against turning the country afghanistan over to afghan leaders. can you -- given that, can you give me broad definition of what sort of afghanistan you hope to leave behind in 2014? and then, separately on iran. nicolas sarkozy long considered one of the toughest voices for the western sanctions policy on iran. are you concerned at all that with the change in government in france that he may lose sort of the strong support you've been
having from france on iran sanctions? >> okay. i'ding glad to take those questions. but i need to write down the second one or i'll forget what it is. >> i can repeat it. >> with respect to afghanistan -- helene, the goal, to have an afghanistan, again that has a degree of stability such that forces like al qaeda and associated groups can not have safe haven unimpeded which could threaten the region and threaten u.s. and other interests in the world. number bun. one. number two, afghanistan that has a set of security assets that allow it to provide for that are stability to be able to protect itself against groups like that and an afghan national force of sufficient size and sustainability that these goals can be achieved, and that will be a real focus on the discussion in chicago. but as i said, it's also important for the united states
as partners and its allies around the world to also focus on the non-security aspects of this. that is, when you have a drop in security expenditures which will happen. all right, whb isaf finishes its mission at the end of 2014, the goal is to have a sustainable economy going forward, and that's an important focus for the next 2.5 years. a couple things on this. we have a comprehensive approach and we are working on this now, as by this discussion, years in advance to try to put in place the building blocks that can achieve the goals that i laid out. by the way, we also want to have you know, a -- a solid political transition in afghanistan. they'llen elections for president in the middle of 2014. and it's important, obviously, that the afghans put in place a sustainable political process as well going forward. we also, we also want to get to
a place where we achieve our core goal, and our core goal is strategic defeat of al qaeda. the defeat of al qaeda such that it no longer presents a threat to the united states, our allies or our interests. you know, this has been a central part of the foreign policy of the united states especially, i think, in terms it of its focus since we've come into office and, again, this is a daily effort that we pursue relentlessly against al qaeda. with respect to iran. we fully expect france to be a good ally going forward. again, of the government in france has only been in place for a day or so. so we haven't had the detailed discussions than we will have with the beginning of tomorrow, although we did have some of our team go over and begin discussions. i expect we'll have good support from france on the iran issue. i expect we'll have good support from france on the p-5 plus one
issues going forward as well as on a range of other issues. now, we'll have to work through other issues. the stances that the president's took during the course of the elections. he intends to keep at president, but i, at this point, frankly, see a good relationship building between us already. >> jeff? >> hi. >> tom, two questions. >> hi. >> on the g-8. >> yeah. >> first of all, do you expect the president to bring up the issue of oil reserves and releasing oil reserves, and will that be reflected in the g-8 communique? and my second question is about eu leaders. does the united states have an interest in exploiting the difference between mr. milan and mrs. merkel on the austerity versus growth debate? >> the first question, with respect to oil, as i said, one of the designated sessions during the course of the g-8 will be on energy and climate, and they'll about broad discussion there again with the
president discussing his, all ate bov strategy for energy development, and they'll be discussions on improving energy sufi, security also addressing climate changes as you would imagine. with respect to the other situation, the leaders -- i don't have any announcement for you on that. the leaders will certainly discuss that situation. the leaders, and we have been engaged in an ongoing way in monitoring the global oil situation, particularly in light of the sfechanges. we'll continue that monitoring. i'm sure the leaders will discuss the range of options they might have before them. at this point what i can tell you is i don't have any announcement here, but it will be, i'm certain, a topic of discussion. no. well, the oil markets generally. i don't want to say anything specific about what options might be discussed and not discussed. is fair to say they're in the course of the energy climate discussion, there will be a discussion about oil markets
including continuing to monitor the state of those markets, particularly in lift iranian sanctions effort. now, with respect to your question about exploiting differences. that's not -- that's not the intention of the president of the united states here. i think, and you saw that president elan and chancellor merkel had their initial meeting a day ago. this will be a discussion, as i said, about addressing the issue in a comprehensive way of the current crisis and the ongoing need for growth and jobs. and i think that that is in the interests of each of the europe peen leaders, and in the interests of all the global leaders. they'll be a discussion i believe about specific steps that might be taken to move forward, but i don't think that the nature of these conversations are going to be anything like taking one side or the other, trying to exploit. the nature of these conversations will be about
coherent and common goal of having the crisis in europe, current crisis manage well and getting on path for sustainable recovery. >> there are very clear differences between the leaders sitting at that table. >> well, let's -- let's let the leaders speak for themselves at the table. but i do think -- i do think -- it is important that the president will lead, you know, will lead a discussion here. and as the host, i think his participants are expecting him to lead a discussion how best to address these issues. no. this is not the first discussion president obama has had with european leaders about economic issues and they've been krush constructive. i expect these will be as well. >> i'll try noting to representative. reword the question it's slightly. on the spsr, can you tell us whether the u.s. has benchmarks release of petroleum stocks?
will you sort of start with something there? then i'll tell you my second question. >> i don't think it's useful for me to current on po essential spsr release because i don't have anything furtherer to announce on that. >> on the question of elan versus merkel, do you see him as more in line with the president's instincts on how europe should approach this? do you see that he could be your new go-to person or serve as an integral person with merkel? >> two things in response, and the first really i think is important to say. the united states has had a very good relationship with president sarkozy. and, indeed, president sarkozy was a very strong supporter of the u.s.-france relationship, and it was incredibly productive and constructive, the relationship, number one. number two, we will work to
build the same kind of relationship with president elan. the first meeting between president elan and obama will be tomorrow morning at 11:00. it would be premature for me to kind of speculate on the positions that he'll be putting forward, but based on what we understand the discussions were between president elan and chancellor merkel and based on what i can tell you about the president's approach to these issues, i think you can look forward to an open discussion, and a discussion where it's important for them to agree on the common goal, which has to be it has to be, to preserve the foundations of the eurozone. to address the current crisis facing europe, particularly as a result of the political events in greece, and then, third, and you know see this discussed more broadly in europe, why i said at the outset that we welcomed the evolution of the discussion in europe. towards growth and jobs. but you see that now being discussed much more broadly in
europe and i think that will be on the table for discussion during the course of the week. okay. >> thanks. >> how are you? >> appreciate it. two questions. one, given according to mr. brennan, president obama's desire to be more transparent whrnlt can comes to the drone program. what are your concerns given the lawsuits in pakistan, those killed in 2011 if you're afraid that will have, in fact, factor the drone program and on diplomatic relationsry pakistan jp my second question having to do with, reminder of the second question, i'll be -- >> the second question dealing with -- >> the hand over to afghan security forces. how concerned is the administration at this point when it comes to green on blue incidents, which seem to be, which seem to keep happening.
are you still convinced, is the administration still convinced as it was weeked ago there's no real correlation between these incidents and the fact that they keep happening? i don't know the percentage now, might be roughly one therpd of u.s. casualties are from green on blue instances. what does that say about the condition of the afghan forces when we hand over the country? >> on the first question, i really can't comment on neither a lawsuit or specific efforts. i can speak generally, though. >> okay. >> about it. we have undertaken, as i said, earlier, from the outset of this administration, a determined effort to, a targeted effort, which was really critical against al qaeda and associated forces who intend to do harm against the united states. and that effort has been successful. and that effort has a lot of elements to it. that effort is carefully
overseen by the white house, by the president, and by senior members of his administration, and carried out consistent with, as john's speech laid out at the wilson center, really consistent with international law, domestic law, ethics, rules of war, and those the instructions from the president and that's what we do every day with respect to these programs. i really can't go any further than that, jake. with respect to transition in the so-called green on blue issues, i guess i'd say the following things about that -- number one is, we have built with the afghans and our partner as very large afghan national army, afghan national force. it's now, as i said, i think, and we can -- we can check the numbers. over 330,000 forces at this
point heading to 3502,02,000. the second point, the number of instances that you raise are quite small. when you take it against the backdrop of building a very large force for the ultimate security of afghanistan. third, the performance of the afghan national forces in some quite important instances as you know, including the attacks in kabul recently and elsewhere, have been very good. and i think reflects, with respect to the training of those specific forces and more generally progress has been made. number four -- with respect to the quality of the force going forward, as i said, we are -- we're 2.5 years out. right? from, an ultimate turnover to full afghan lead. although we will decide in chicago, i believe, they will decide in chicago, that that transition should begin in the course of 2013, that transition meaning the transition from the united states and isaf forces
being the lead to having us step back and advise and assist role and the afghans being in the lead. number five -- there are stresses and strains in a war zone. and there are lots of reasons for these instances. and we have to address them seriously. come up with systems for addressing what can be really very complex situations and we're doing that. general john allen is very focused on this. and, again, putting in place the kinds of systems, the kinds of screening that you want to have in place to ensure that you minimize these kinds of instances, but the overall point i would make is that when taken against the backdrop of the scale of the forces being built by the united states in isaf, this is not a large number of instances. that said, it has to be taken very seriously. because as you're saying, jake, you have to ask yourselves, why? you have to ask yourself, if this is a trend, why is that
trend ongoing? you have to ask yourself, what can we do about that? right? in order to ensure that we do our very best to protect our forces, our men and women who are serving in afghanistan and our allies and partners. >> [ inaudible ] substitute question? which is, the transparency president obama called for, can we -- do we pay innocent civilians when they're killeded by -- we do so for instance, an accident -- >> civilian casualty incident in afghanistan, you know, we obviously investigate it and put forward compensation obviously for the loss of loved ones. >> what if it's not in afghanistan, what if it's a different country and operating different techniques of military operation, and innocent civilians are killed, does the united states do anything to
compensate them? >> well, there are a lot of possibilities in that question, including instaunnces that occurred in the cross-border incident in november in pakistan where it would be appropriate to talk about compensation issues. i don't know if compensation was ultimately case. those were pakistani soldiers killed. with respect to other examples, jake, i'm just not going to go there. >> two more. jessica? >> hi. >> in response to a question you asked, you were confident that president elan will keep his campaign commitments. does this mean that you -- how confident are you that the president will be able to persuade him to give up his campaign pledge to withdraw troops from afghanistan by year's end? >> tell you a couple things about that. i said that directly. has looeelen helene's question was about iran. we look forward to having france as a strong